These '90s Jurassic Park Technologies Were Once Wonderous

These '90s Jurassic Park Technologies Were Once Wonderous

These technologies were impressive when we saw them in Jurassic Park, but how do they hold up today?

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Saying that CD-ROM was bordering on obsolescence in 1993 because DVD's were released two years later isn't really all that accurate considering few people had the former in 1993, and no one had the latter in 1995. DVD's, and particularly DVD drives for computers, were still more than 5 years away from being commonplace when they came out. Sure, they may have been the "state of the art," at the time, but it doesn't really matter if no one was actually using them.

Now maybe there'd be an argument that an expensive theme park would spring for the very best, but I really doubt businesses which don't rely on having the most advanced optical storage medium available at the time to compete would actually give a shit.

Yeah, I was still using a Walkman (and mix tapes!) in 1993. Of couse they sold CD players but those were expensive compared to cassette players, so for kids and teenagers they were a fairly big deal.

It does bear stating that that ridiculous interface is an actual interface called FSN. No 'nix admin I know would ever use it but you could if you wanted.

Fanghawk:
But here's hoping Jurassic World's accuracy is a little easier to swallow, or we might be having this chat all over again 22 years from now.

If you watch CinemaSins, give it a couple of months.

I used to copy songs from CDs, and LPs, to cassettes so I could listen to them on my walkman. I had a portable CD player too, but it was huge and would skip if I even walked too fast. Just because a new format is available and is the technically superior format, it doesn't mean it's immediately the better option.

ForumSafari:
It does bear stating that that ridiculous interface is an actual interface called FSN. No 'nix admin I know would ever use it but you could if you wanted.

You know, I've always been tempted to make someone use it just to collect their frustrated tears...

Still, while some of the science and tech hasn't aged well, stuff like splicing in frog DNA to make dinosaurs, that still somewhat works.

I still don't understand how the miracle shaving cream can keeps embryos cold though... The insulation on that thing would be awful so it's coolant system would either be very, very precise or it would freeze the entire can.

...the fact that somehow they were able to restore prehistoric plants, which mosquitoes shouldn't be interested in at all.

Mosquitoes feed on plants. Females only drink blood to provide nutrients for their eggs. That said, they wouldn't be carrying plant DNA from the liquids they feed on.

... People still used CD-ROM in 2000... Hell, a reasonable number still used it in 2005...
You shouldn't confuse the video medium (whose predecessor is VHS tape, NOT CD-ROM technology) with the computer data storage medium.

The PS2 was a big deal partly because it had functioning DVD playback abilities.
Note that the dreamcast meanwhile, released only a year or two earlier, was still using what was essentially CD-ROM technology...
(Not that DVD's are an impressive 'new' technology to begin with. They are a logical evolution of the CD-ROM that arose from better components.)
Meanwhile in 1993 CD-ROM drives were still rare things. Sure the technology has been around since the 80's. But how many people had them?
You didn't really see games on CD-ROM until 1992 or 93, Floppy disk distribution still survived quite a bit longer, and as a Software Distribution medium DVD's lasted well into the 2000's, before DVD's finally took over completely.

There's a difference between a technology existing, and it being widespread and commonplace.

Touch-screen computers existed in the 1970's.
It took until 2008 or something for all these touchscreen devices we take for granted now actually started to gain any real traction.
40 years after the fact, give or take.

Tech doesn't work like that.

vallorn:

I still don't understand how the miracle shaving cream can keeps embryos cold though... The insulation on that thing would be awful so it's coolant system would either be very, very precise or it would freeze the entire can.

As far as I can tell it's supposed to be a very small freezer with a limited supply of something like liquid nitrogen. Presumably the reason they selected a shaving foam can was due to the casing being plausibly cold and having a tiny reservoir of shaving foam at the top would be enough to allay all suspicions. In the book Biosyn are basically portrayed less as a bioengineering company and more as an espionage and reverse engineering racket so this kind of miniaturised technology would be their stock in trade.

As an aside I also assumed the CD-ROMs instead of shared network resources were because it was the nineties and I remember uncompressed audio files and nineties bandwidth. Hammond talks to them over the radio. It's also possible that like a lot of their equipment it was a pure kludge.

vallorn:

Still, while some of the science and tech hasn't aged well, stuff like splicing in frog DNA to make dinosaurs, that still somewhat works.

Source? -interested

We must sequence the DNA - find out what the genetic code of the animal is. That's several billion letters strung together in a chain. One gap in the chain could possibly ruin the whole thing. In the Jurassic Park stories, frog DNA is used to plug the holes in the DNA. This is really silly! As paleontological critics have remarked, "too much frog DNA and your T. rex croaks." A reasonably intact dinosaur genome is necessary to progress further - putting together DNA is a lot harder than reconstructing a dinosaur skeleton from its bones, and that's plenty hard. The odds of correctly assembling a fragmentary genome are similar to putting a million-piece puzzle together with your eyes closed. DNA allows some room for mistakes (not all DNA is used), but it doesn't seem likely that we could get enough for any one animal.
http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/diapsids/buzz/popular.html

Biologists have created chicken embryos with dinosaur-like faces by tinkering with the molecules that build the birds' beaks.

The research, details of which are published today in Evolution1, does not aim to engineer flocks of hybrid 'dino-chickens' or to resurrect dinosaurs, says Bhart-Anjan Bhullar, a palaeontologist now at the University of Chicago in Illinois, who co-led the work. "We're never going back to the actual dino-chicken or whatever it is."
http://www.nature.com/news/dino-chickens-reveal-how-the-beak-was-born-1.17507

You gotta let the Dino-DNA in amber slide. Michael Crichton knew that one was a hand-wave to begin with. He just needed something interesting to allow him to get his hands on DNA, so he invented. I'll let that one slide for a story that allows us to have dinosaurs in it.

But the other tech? Yeah, that's kind of outdated now.

MP3 Discmans are almost as durable as the brick Game Boy, just sayin'.

Yeah, I remember being utterly fascinated by the tech mumbo jumbo from the "Lex using UNIX" scene and I still wanted to use something similar well in the mid 2000's, until I actually got to use Linux and got utterly lost on how to use the damned thing. Even more dissapointing was that it didn't have that nifty 3D FPS interface.

Other than that, yeah, the tech on this film is obviously outdated, but so is Alien's 70's tech, but in both cases, I think that it just adds to the charm :)

 

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